Pointless Emails are a Waste of Time

The average British worker receives 1728 pointless emails in a typical year a study has found.

Emails detailing trivial information such as ‘organising a whip around’, ‘please sponsor me’ and the reams of polite ‘happy birthday’ emails topped the list of irritating topics.

As does mail with subject headings such as ‘the printer has broken’ and ‘can we turn the air con down?’

The poll by Sennheiser Communications found mundane emails about fire drills, Secret Santa and running out of milk were also viewed as futile by busy workers.

The poll of 2,000 office workers found a third said they have someone in their team who is known for sending pointless emails and half said they have colleagues that copy in ‘everyone and anyone’ to round robin emails.

Not surprisingly, 53 per cent of those polled said they wish everyone picked the phone up and spoke more to one another, rather than clogging-up inboxes with wasted emails.

And over two thirds said things are far less likely to be misconstrued when there has been a physical conversation opposed to an email trail.

Charlotte Gaskin, Marketing Manager at Sennheiser Communications said: “We are used to firing off emails for even the slightest thing. But it seems like some of the more mundane requests can be avoided. Copying in lots of people to emails does seem to be a bugbear of British workers.

Sometimes it’s more effective to have a face to face conversation or just pick-up the phone. This way there’s less room for misinterpretation as well.”

The poll also found 38 per cent of adults said they have sent an email that has been taken the wrong way, with the recipient thinking they were being rude, sarcastic or upset.

And writing emails in capital letters causes havoc with employees, with more than two thirds of Brits saying they feel like they are being shouted at.

Charlotte Gaskin concluded: “It’s clear many people tend to hide behind emails, rather than have a telephone call. But phone calls don’t leave room for error and making a call is usually easier than writing an email, especially with the wide range of professional headsets we offer, which mean your voice can be heard in HD sound clarity. Headsets allow you to be hands free and multitask to allow for even the most hectic of working days. You’re also far more likely to resolve an issue quickly and correctly. Perhaps it’s time we all started using our voices a little more often.”


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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine